It’s not only the last chance for Theresa May. It could also be the last chance for British Labour in Scotland (BLiS). In his blog today, Eric Joyce points out that,
“Even if the result [of Brexit negotiations] is manifestly disastrous in every way for Scots, Labour will still oppose a second referendum!”
By putting off the vote on a new independence referendum until tomorrow (Tuesday 28 March) the First Minister has graciously allowed Kezia Dugdale’s troops time to reflect on the senselessness of this position.
As I have noted previously (https://goo.gl/U8bvM7), BLiS and the Tories have quite distinct perspectives on the constitutional question. For the Tories, it is a matter of principle. Or, at least, of dogma. Their devotion to the concept of the British state is ideological. For them, the mythologised pseudo-nation of ‘Britain’ is real. The structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state constitute the apparatus by which their vision of ‘Britain’ is maintained. The Tories are the true One Nation British nationalists.
For British Labour, those structures of power, privilege and patronage are important, not so much as the scaffolding which props up an imagined Britain, but as the framework which serves their party. It is the system that affords British Labour status, and at least the tantalising possibility of power. They are concerned, not for notions of One Nation Britain so much as for the preservation of a political environment that they regard as necessary for their very existence.
BLiS’s fanatical opposition to a new referendum, like their fervent hatred of the SNP, is driven by fear of change. Change which threatens, not only their relevance as a political force, but their viability as a political entity.
On the one hand, we have devotion to an increasingly narrow, isolationist, nativist, xenophobic concept of ‘Britain’. On the other, we have partisan self-interest at it rawest and crudest. Nowhere in either calculation will you find any place for Scotland or its people.
There is no point in hoping for anything better from the Tories. But, by postponing the vote in the Scottish Parliament until tomorrow (Tuesday 28 March), Nicola Sturgeon has allowed BLiS MSPs time to ponder the political, logical and moral vacuity of the position taken by their leader. They have until then to decide whether their loyalties lie with party or people.Views: 4024
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